2020 NHK Trophy: Thoughts on Ladies

gsk8

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Country
United-States
From You. I was so hoping she would do well here.
“Today’s performance was not perfect, but I was better in my choreography,” she said. “I hope the audience saw that. It wasn’t in the details, but the overall program.”

“I learned a lot from this competition,” You added. “It was different from last year. I couldn’t practice as hard, everybody is getting tired with the COVID. Even though it is tying us down, I can practice, and next season, I will not be in a panic like yesterday and do better.”
 

ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
Kaori did really well. So happy to see her skate this programme cleanly, and so well overall. It may be just me, but I thought Wakaba was under marked. I love her FS. I felt sad for Young You though, even if she managed to overcome her SP to a great extent.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Does the tech panel not know what a fully rotated jump or a proper edge on a Lutz look like? Jeez, and people constantly complain that the judging in the US or Russia is bad. I mean, sure... :rolleye:

I'm also eagerly awaiting the multiple discussions and video evidence on how bad and pre-rotated the picking technique of Kaori and some other japanese ladies is on their Flutzes and Flips. :sneaky:
(some of the men too, btw, while at the same time even attempting a 4Lz...)

Kaori's Matrix program would make an exciting Olympic program, but then again, I'd also love to see a new long program from her, damn.
 
Last edited:

SNAKSuyun

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Country
China
Mark Kaori's lutz with an !, give a bit more love to the other ladies in PCS, and I'd be quite happy. Happy in general that Wakaba was able to land a 3A without falling/over-popping (... it says something that I'm happy with only two pops), Mai was able to deliver a beautiful comeback skate, and Kaori managed to skate out her whole content.
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
On the bright side, ladies' FP choreography was more interesting, maybe because the skaters were trying to play it safe in the SP. Wish Yuhana could skate her Tom and Jerry programme clean at least once this season because it's very refreshing!

Also agree with others' objections to PCS scoring. If the judges want to be strict, fine, but be strict across the board for goodness sake. What is this, exponential scaling? I actually like the winners but it's stupid for the fed to trash all their other strong skaters. It runs the risk of making Kaori and Yuma complacent (they still have lots to work on, e.g. Kaori's posture and Yuma's facial expression) and of de-motivating the other worthy candidates by not recognising their own strengths.

PS I realised as much as some fans are clearly biased in favour of Russian ladies, there are also people who are biased towards Japanese ladies. I came away from Rostelecom and NHK feeling like the difference between individual skaters is bigger than the difference between the two countries and it's unwise to make generalisations (e.g. regarding lutz or axel technique or skating skills).
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Does the tech panel not know what a fully rotated jump or a proper edge on a Lutz look like? Jeez, and people constantly complain that the judging in the US or Russia is bad. I mean, sure... :rolleye:

I'm also eagerly awaiting the multiple discussions and video evidence on how bad and pre-rotated the picking technique of Kaori and some other japanese ladies is on their Flutzes and Flips. :sneaky:
(some of the men too, btw, while at the same time even attempting a 4Lz...)

Kaori's Matrix program would make an exciting Olympic program, but then again, I'd also love to see a new long program from her, damn.
I don't how you can complain about the technical panel who were incredibly harsh. You can count on one hand the number of level 4 step sequences given. ( The obvious exception of Kaori's flutz which was definitely favoritism and made me a bit angry given how harsh they were with everyone else). Other than that they called every edge and every UR. (and even jumps that seemed less than 1/4 were marked with a q) If you don't see the difference in PCS, GOE, and technical judging here to Russian and USA you weren't paying attention.

Anyway, I agree with the above poster that you can't make general statements about all skaters from one federation. Each skater has different strengths and weaknesses. I do think the Japanese skaters (as a group) do have the best SS in the world (in contrast to flying feijora..I love a soft knee) , but they all have radically different performance skills, jump technique, styles, strengths and weakness. I love some and others I don't enjoy nearly as much. I think it was obvious given the way skaters were scored here that JF likes its skaters to be clean. If you aren't, you will not receive any help from the technical panel, in PCS or GOE. Wakaba is a favorite of mine, so I hope she can skate cleanly and finally get the PCS /GOE she deserves. Go Wakaba! Go!
 
Last edited:

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
I was really sad about Young You’s short, but I loved her free, and I overall enjoyed the free a lot more than the short. It was really fun to watch, and get to know some new faces (for me).
 

draqq

FigureSkatingPhenom
Record Breaker
Joined
May 10, 2010
Kaori was the clear winner here, despite the missed flutz and some very generous GOEs in the second half on jumps and the step sequence (which I thought should have been a Level 3 instead of a 4), many of which I thought were about a +2 instead of a +3/+4 range. I think her short program has shown her growth much more than the Matrix redux but her speed and flow out on jumps is world-class.

Wonderful skates from Mihara and Matsuike as well! I was particularly surprised at how strong Matsuike's timing is to the music throughout the program. She could potentially be the new Miyahara of the Japanese skaters. Higuchi wasn't given too many favors in the free skate, but I think she is very much positioning herself as sort of the Tuktamysheva of the group with the 3As and mature grand-dame energy. Japanese Nationals is going to be spicy!
 

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Unfortunately, the Japanese Federation was obviously sending a message to Marin that she should retire with those ridiculously low PCS scores. I don’t see how one could interpret them any other way.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I don't how you can complain about the technical panel who were incredibly harsh. You can count on one hand the number of level 4 step sequences given. ( The obvious exception of Kaori's flutz which was definitely favoritism and made me a bit angry given how harsh they were with everyone else). Other than that they called every edge and every UR. (and even jumps that seemed less than 1/4 were marked with a q) If you don't see the difference in PCS, GOE, and technical judging here to Russian and USA you weren't paying attention.

LOL, out of the ladies that I watched there was not one true Lutz (I didn't watch every single one of them, Tomoe obviously has a true outside edge take-off, but I missed her). I also barely saw any in the men's field, too.
Yet I didn't see even one "e" in the ladies' FS protocols (there was only one "!" on a Lutz I believe).

There were also several uncalled URs, most notably You's and Wakaba's 3As.

So not sure I agree, that this was favouritism towards Kaori specifically, and certainly disagree that the panel was oh-so-harsh on everyone.

It's also not unusual for a competition to have lower levels on step sequences across the board (Men's FS from GPF 2019 or Worlds 2019 comes to mind).
It really depends on the tech panel on a given day, and if one of its members has a certain pet peeve, that leads them to not call a certain step/turn, resulting in a lower level for a majority of skaters. Let's say they're particularly picky when it comes to twizzles or choctaws, and want them to be done a certain way, and only some skaters get lucky because they happen to fulfill that panel's stricter requirements on that day.

We should also keep in mind, that this wasn't your regular GP event, so it had more less experienced skaters, that are not at the absolute international top level, so one would expect more mistakes on levels in general.

Also, when people refer to the japanese' skatings skills, they usually have their speed, powerful crossovers or glide in mind. But that is just one aspect of skating skills, and frankly, I don't see more (or less) precise or effortless edgework from the japanese, than from any other nation's skaters.

I enjoy the way japanese ladies skate (don't like most of their programs in terms of style though, sadly), but that doesn't change the fact, that they have just as many shortcomings technically as skaters from other countries.

Finally, I believe I did not comment on the PCS or GOE, nor did I claim that it's the same as in Russia or the USA. So not sure who or what you're even disagreeing with here.
(Although the way the judges set Kaori apart from the rest of the field was quite... interesting. Didn't seem much more honest, than some of the judging in the aforementioned countries).
 
Last edited:

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
LOL, out of the ladies that I watched there was not one true Lutz (I didn't watch every single one of them, Tomoe obviously has a true outside edge take-off, but I missed her). I also barely saw any in the men's field, too.
Yet I didn't see even one "e" in the ladies' FS protocols (there was only one "!" on a Lutz I believe).

There were also several uncalled URs, most notably You's and Wakaba's 3As.

So not sure I agree, that this was favouritism towards Kaori specifically, and certainly disagree that the panel was oh-so-harsh on everyone.

It's also not unusual for a competition to have lower levels on step sequences across the board (Men's FS from GPF 2019 or Worlds 2019 comes to mind).
It really depends on the tech panel on a given day, and if one of its members has a certain pet peeve, that leads them to not call a certain step/turn, resulting in a lower level for a majority of skaters. Let's say they're particularly picky when it comes to twizzles or choctaws, and want them to be done a certain way, and only some skaters get lucky because they happen to fulfill that panel's stricter requirements on that day.

We should also keep in mind, that this wasn't your regular GP event, so it had more less experienced skaters, that are not at the absolute international top level, so one would expect more mistakes on levels in general.

Also, when people refer to the japanese' skatings skills, they usually have their speed, powerful crossovers or glide in mind. But that is just one aspect of skating skills, and frankly, I don't see more (or less) precise or effortless edgework from the japanese, than from any other nation's skaters.

I enjoy the way japanese ladies skate (don't like most of their programs in terms of style though, sadly), but that doesn't change the fact, that they have just as many shortcomings technically as skaters from other countries.

Finally, I believe I did not comment on the PCS or GOE, nor did I claim that it's the same as in Russia or the USA. So not sure who or what you're even disagreeing with here.
(Although the way the judges set Kaori apart from the rest of the field was quite... interesting. Didn't seem much more honest, than some of the judging in the aforementioned countries).
I believe Mako Yamashita has a true lutz. On the other hand, she has a lip for a flip. Wakaba's lutz takes off from a slight outside edge and her flip edge has improved to a flat at times. Also, Wakaba's 3A was called. It was given a "q"
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
There were also several uncalled URs, most notably You's and Wakaba's 3As.

I enjoy the way japanese ladies skate (don't like most of their programs in terms of style though, sadly), but that doesn't change the fact, that they have just as many shortcomings technically as skaters from other countries
I don’t think there were uncalled urs. I suggest you check the protocols. Higuchi’s beautiful 3A was called as was her flip edge.

In regard to Japanese technical issues, I don’t think anyone is suggesting they don’t have technical problems. Who has ever said this? (Rika Kihira really doesn’t have technical flaws but she is a unique skater in any country and wasn’t here- most skaters in the world either flutz, lip or have flat edges on both jumps.. I think people were just upset because Russia complained about their skaters getting deserved calls —that’s not cool) People think that Japanese skaters don’t get the same breaks international that other skaters do and their own federation doesn’t give them any breaks either. The technical calling here was harsh, if you want to see the carrots and edge calls just check the protocols. Everyone but Kaori has hammered.

In regard to step sequences, yes it is true that sometimes international panels are harsh but domestic panels aren’t except for Japan.

Stylistically you can like whoever you like but your taste shouldn’t determine PCS scoring..I don’t enjoy Dani G’s programs for instance but that doesn’t mean Daria and Kamila don’t deserve high PCS/GOE . They absolutely do, and so do the Japanese girls with good posture, SS, and transitions whether you like their style or not. Plus, there is no Japanese “style”. Wakaba Higuchi, Kaori Sakamato, and Rino all have incredibly different styles. If you think they are all the same, you really aren’t paying attention and are allowing prejudice to determine your view.
 
Last edited:

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I believe Mako Yamashita has a true lutz. On the other hand, she has a lip for a flip. Wakaba's lutz takes off from a slight outside edge and her flip edge has improved to a flat at times. Also, Wakaba's 3A was called. It was given a "q"

Didn't watch Mako.

Wakaba takes of from a neutral edge on her Lutz, but it flips over in the very last moment during take-off, so I would give her an "!" or not depending on her execution on a given day. Her Lutz certainly doesn't have that typical "look" of a Lutz, though (I believe that's because she picks in too far to her right sight).

Yes her 3A got a q, but that doesn't result in a reduction in BV, and the slo-mo replay showed a very clear unter-rotation, almost looked like she landed it forwards. So giving her a q instead of a < or << makes a big difference.

I get the impression, that q calls are being used now in the case of very obvious hard to ignore under-rotations, when they don't want to penalise the skater too much, but need to signal that they did notice the missing rotation.
 
Top